Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko was born on November 27, 1960 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine).
Upon graduating from high school in 1979, she continued her education in Dnipropetrovsk State University. Her major was Economics-Cybernetics from the Department of Economics.
While being a student, she married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, in 1979 and gave birth to daughter Eugenia in 1980.
In 1984 Yulia Tymoshenko completed the university with distinction. She started to work as an engineer-economist at the Dnipropetrovsk machine-building plant, named after Lenin.
From 1989 to 1991, she was a commercial director of the Dnipropetrovsk Youth Center "Terminal".
From 1991, she was a CEO of the corporation "Ukrainskiy Benzin (Ukrainian Gasoline)". Her own capital and bank loans of the corporation were directed toward the purchases of fuel and oil materials. This was exactly the type of business that was demanded by society at that time. Indeed, in 1991 the gigantic country fell apart along with its economic structure. Inflation almost caused the immediate death of the agricultural industry.
In 1995, Yulia Tymoshenko becomes the president of "United Energy Systems of Ukraine" (UESU).
At the end of 1996, Yulia Tymoshenko becomes a candidate to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Supreme Rada of Ukraine). Indeed, she got a majority of 92.3% votes in her Bobrinsky Congressional District # 229, which is located in Kirovograd Region.
From 1998, she became the head of budget strategic committee of Verkhovna Rada. During her work at this position, Yulia Tymoshenko developed projects of Budget and Taxation Codes, a new system of pension and medical security, a mechanism per paying off pension and salary debts. Also, under the direction of Yulia Volodymyrivna , the budget committee developed a program "100 weeks till worthy living".
In 1998, for the second time, she becomes a representative of Verkhovna Rada, and, again, leads the budget committee in the parliament. She is the author of the improved system of inter-budget relations and optimization of national social programs. Under her leadership, the legislation of Taxation, Social Codes and Pension Reformations were developed.
In 1999 she becomes the leader of All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (Ukrainian: Всеукра нське об' днання "Батьк вщина", Vseukrayins'ke Obyednannya Bat'kivshchyna).
Furthermore, in 1999, Yulia Volodymyrivna defends her thesis titled "National Regulations of the Taxation System" and becomes candidate (equivalent to Ph.D.) of economic studies. Her scientific activity did not end there. Indeed, Yulia Tymoshenko has written more than 50 scientific papers.
On December 30, 1999 Yulia Tymoshenko takes the post of Vice Prime Minister on the issues of fuel and energy complex. During this period, Yulia Volodymyrivna has developed the "Energy Concept of Ukraine" and the anti-corruption program "Clean Energy". The main objective of these programs was the liquidation corruption and dominant criminal forces in the fuel and energy complex of Ukraine.
In January of 2001, Yulia Tymoshenko was dispatched from the position of Vice Prime Minister.
On February 13, 2001 she was arrested and charged by the District Attorney, which the public took as a punishment for her Democratic movement. In March, however, the Kiev City Pechersk Court found that the accusations were baseless and annulled the sanctions for the arrest.
On February 9, 2001 Yulia Tymoshenko, she becomes an initiator of the Forum of National Salvation (FNS). This is a public union, whose main objective is to get rid of Kuchma's criminal regime.
In November of 2001, the participants of the union decide to rename the FNS into the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (Ukrainian: Блок Юл Тимошенко, БЮТ; Blok Yuliyi Tymoshenko, BYuT). As the head of this party, Yulia Tymoshenko participates in the parliamentary elections. As the result of the elections, Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc receives more than 20 seats in Verkhovna Rada. She also creates her political fraction.
In September of 2002, Yulia Tymoshenko as one of the opposition leaders heads the All-Ukrainian movement "Rebell, Ukraine!" This became the first serious strike of Ukrainian opposition and first action of public strike, during which there were a lot of street protests.
In 2004, Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Viktor Yushchenko Bloc Our Ukraine (Ukrainian: Наша Укра на, Nasha Ukrayina) announce the creation of coalition "People's Power" (Ukrainian: Сила народу, Sila Narodu) in order to support Victor Yushenko's presidential candidacy during the October 2004 election.
In November of 2004, Yulia Tymoshenko becomes one of the leaders of Orange Revolution, which secured the winning of Victor Yushenko on the presidential elections.
On February 4th, 2005 the Verkhovna Rada declares Yulia Volodimirovna as the Head of Government with 373 votes, which was a record.
In July of 2005, the American Authoritative magazine Forbes, composing the list of 100 most powerful women in the world, names the Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as the 3rd most-influential woman of the world.
In September of 2005, as the result of an artificial political crisis, enveloped by the Head of State, Yulia Tymoshenko leaves the authority.
In March of 2006, during the parliamentary elections, Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc obtained victory in Kiev as well as half of Ukraine's regions, receiving the majority of votes amongst the Democratic Forces.
On December 18, 2007, Yulia Tymoshenko is elected as the Prime Minister of Ukraine from the Democratic coalitions BYuT and NU-NS.
On October 24, 2009 the IX Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union "Batkivshchyna" was held in Kyiv’s Independence Square, during which the delegates and close to 200,000 citizens of independent Ukraine nominated Yulia Tymoshenko as a candidate for President.
Later, Viktor Yanukovych, through mass falsification of the results of the presidential elections, came to power and Yulia Tymoshenko went into opposition.
On May 9, 2010 a Viche of the national-patriotic forces of Ukraine adopted a resolution on the creation of a united democratic opposition. Yulia Tymoshenko was chosen as the leader.
From her first day in opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko has been active, speaking at rallies throughout Ukraine, meeting with the workforce at numerous companies and the public.
In March 2010 Yulia Tymoshenko initiated the creation of an opposition government whose job is to monitor the work of the ruling government and offer proposals for the country’s positive development.
On May 10, 2010 Yulia Tymoshenko signed on behalf of Batkivshchyna a memorandum with representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary political forces on the creation of a Committee to Defend Ukraine, which will coordinate activities to protect Ukraine’s national interests.
The Yanukovych government couldn't come to terms with the Ukrainian opposition leader remaining active and with the aim of removing the president's main opponent from the political arena, launched a tailored investigation into gas contracts signed with Russia in 2009.
On June 17, 2011 the the hastily fabricated criminal case was referred to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv in gross violation of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The trial began in late June and lasted four months. Grueling 10-12 hour daily hearings, forged documents, decisions by the judge on the inadmissibility of evidence proving the ex-premier's innocence, restrictions on defense witnesses (38 prosecution witnesses and only 2 defense witnesses were allowed), slander and lies outraged Ukrainians and the global community.
Despite the signs of a cynically fabricated case and court bias, Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Pechersk District Court on August 5, 2011 ordered Yulia Tymoshenko's arrest and on October 11 found her guilty of “abuse of power during the signing of gas agreements with the Russian Federation in January 2009”. She was sentenced to seven years in prison with a three-year ban on holding office. The court also ordered Yulia Tymoshenko to compensate Naftohaz of Ukraine UAH 1.5 million in alleged damages and UAH 10,000 to organizations that fabricated forensic assessments under pressure from the Prosecutor General's Office.
On December 23, 2011 the Kyiv City Court of Appeal also ignored the facts and blatant forgery and upheld the Pechersk court's verdict in the Yulia Tymoshenko case.
Yulia Tymoshenko was transferred to Kachanivska Correctional Facility #54 in Kharkiv on December 30, 2011. Her health deteriorated over the course of the trial and her detention in jail and prison. Yulia Tymoshenko developed unbearable back pain that left her unable to walk. Despite the recommendation of German physicians that the opposition leader undergo treatment in a specialized hospital and the request of the European Court of Human Rights, the Yanukovych government continued to ignore the problem and disinfom the public, claiming the ex-premier was in perfect health.
European and world leaders, Heroes of Ukraine, representatives of the intelligentsia and Ukrainian diaspora worldwide expressed outrage over the actions of the Ukrainian government, the biased trial, obvious signs of politically motivated prosecutions and selective justice in Ukraine.
Concern over the Ukrainian government's persecution of political opponents was expressed by Amnesty International, Transparency International, Freedom House, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of Ukraine, U.S. Helsinki Commission, Canadian Group for Democracy, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jarland, President of the European People's Party Wilfried Martens, U.S. Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Richard Lugar, parliaments and heads of government of Poland, Great Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, United States, and others.
Yulia Tymoshenko's daughter, Eugenia, focused her efforts on informing the world about the torture and abuse of her mother at the hands of the Yanukovych regime. Eugenia Tymoshenko addressed the U.S. Senate and European People's Party Congress and visited numerous European countries.
On August 10, 2011 Yulia Tymoshenko's defense lawyers filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights on the unlawful arrest of the ex-premier on August 5, 2011 and violation by the Ukrainian court and government of the European Convention on Human Rights, namely Article 3 (Prohibition of torture), Article 5 (Right to liberty and security), Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) and Article 18 (Limitation on use of restrictions on rights). The complaint was later supplemented with evidence of the beating of Yulia Tymoshenko during her forced transfer from the Kachanivska prison to the prison hospital, her hunger strike in protest of her ill-treatment, and constant video surveillance in the prison and hospital.
On December 14, 2011 the European Court of Human Rights gave priority status to Yulia Tymoshenko's application and on April 30, 2013 it delivered a judgment recognizing the unlawfulness of her arrest on August 5, 2011 and continued detention throughout the duration of the trial. The Yanukovych government never implemented the court's decision.
On July 15, 2013 the European Court of Human Rights announced the start of its review of Yulia Tymoshenko's second application on the unfairness of the trial in the gas case.
On February 22, 2014 Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison following the overthrow of Yanukovych's regime.
On February 28, 2014 the Kyivsky District Court of Kharkiv closed the fabricated case against Yulia Tymoshenko involving United Energy Systems of Ukraine that was initiated immediately after the ex-premier was convicted in the gas case. The court based its decision on the fact that the Supreme Court of Ukraine had already cleared Yulia Tymoshenko of any crime in the case. The court also unfroze Yulia Tymoshenko's assets.